Maritime Safety Adamaration in china

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Maritime Safety Adamaration in china

    Maritime Safety Administration in China

    LIU Dehong

    (Former Vice President ,China Maritime Safety Administration

    nvited Professor ,Dalian Maritime University ,BeijingChina) I

    0 Introduction

    Its shipping industry has always demonstrated the overall national strength of a country(Maintaining and developing shipping industry, especially sea transportation is a

    fundamental policy of most developed countries(Historical facts show that shipping industry has promoted the progress of the world civilization and development of the international trade(

    China is an ancient civilized country in shipping industry(In 219 BCXufus twice east

    tour by sea to Japan andfrom 1405 to 1433the great navigator Zhenghes seven time crossings

    of the Indian Ocean have chartered glorious and brilliant articles in Chinese marine history(China

    is endowed with 32000 kmlong coastlines with 1 8000 km along mainland and the rest along the islands1 10000 kin-long inland navigable waters with over 50000 fives and lakes and

    China is surely one of the richest countries of the world in water thousands of reservoirs(

    transportation resources(

    Over the past 20 years of reform and opening upChinas shipping industryhas achieved

    rapid development(At presentsome 90of international cargo trade is conducted by ocean shipping with 145 international shipping fines(By the end of 2003China had 211,000

    commercial ships include seagoing and inland water ships(The passenger ships had a capacity of 1,077000 seatsthe capacity of container ships was 506000 TEU(In ship building aspect

    China ranked third for eight years in succession(In 2003the shipbuilding output won first breakthrough of 6 million dwt in her history, China showed further strong development trend(The

    new building includes many complex ships such as VLCC5,000-plus TEU containerships. The Chinese shipping and shipbuilding industry is in a flourishing booming(

    Howeverlike other transportation meansshipping is a high risky industry, for ships navigate sometimes in an unpredictable severe sea environment(For examplein 1995 a company

    called Ocean Weather Inc(in the States reposed that waves of more than 100 feet high had been recorded in 1991 and 1993respectively(There have been so many maritime accidents arising a great amount of prophecy and fives lossthe Titanic sank on her maiden voyage in 1912 with 2

    201 people on board and only 711 were survivedthe passenger ship Estonia sank with some 900 fives loss(Another two maritime disasters in Chinain 1975 two passenger ships collided in Zhujiang River resulting in the loss of 437 fives(At the end of the last century, the ro-ro passenger shipDa Shun’’fire and subsequently capsized in a heavy storm in Bohai bay with 282 fives lost

    Maritime casualties are also pose dangers to shore populations and offshore environment(For examplein 1917 the Mont(Blanca carried 2,600 tons of explosive cargo was in a collision and subsequent fired and explodedin Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia resulted in the loss of nearly 3,000 fives and 9,000 injuries(Tankers Torry CanyonAmoco CadizExxon Valdez

    accidents caused a huge amount of oil spillsresulted a heavy sea pollution and serious offshore environment damaged

    The abovementioned accidents are some typical examples around the worldbut they

demonstrate the importance of maritime safety administration(In implementation of Chinas

    national law and regulations and relevant international conventionsChina has paid great attention

    to maritime safety(In 1998the State Council of China carried out reform of Governmental organizationsestablishing the Maritime Safety Administration(China MSA)(Through the efforts

    made by China MSAthe maritime safety situation in China has been significantly improved

    whilstthe shipping and ship building industriesdevelopments have been promoted(However, we

    can never achieve immunity from the maritime accidentsthe study of maritime safety

    management improvement of maritime safety still has a long way to go(

    1 Central Government Organizations Concerning Maritime Matters

    In generalthe State Councilthrough the relevant ministriesis responsible for administrative issues of the marine industry as well as maritime safety and security(The relevant ministries are as

    followsMinistry of CommunicationsMinistry of AgricultureMinistry of Public Security

    Ministry of Land and ResourcesNational Environment Protection AdministrationGeneral

    Administration of CustomsMinistry of National Defense etc(

    1(1 Ministry of Communications(MOC)

    The Ministry of Communications carries out its responsibilities in maritime administration

    through its departments and independent agencies(They are two types of governmental

    organizationone is department in the ministry without subsidiary bodiessuch asDepartment of

    Water TransportationDepartment of Reform and LegislationDepartment of International

    Cooperationetcthe other is agency typewith full functions and normally their subsidiary

    bodies such as Maritime Safety Administrationwhich carries out most of the tasks on maritime administrationChina Classification Society(CCS)which has functions on ships survey for majority part of Chinese vessels and is the sole organization in China with function for ships

    classificationChina Telecommunication Center, and the Bureau of Rescue and Salvage(

    1(2 Other Ministries as related to maritime administration

    As listed abovethere are some other ministries related to maritime administration(The

    Ministry of Agriculture(MOA)has responsibilitiesinter aliain fishery managementwhich

    includes survey of fishing vesselsafety of fishing vessel and port(The Ministry of Public

    Security(MOPS)is the national law enforcement agency, focusing on prevention of drug traffic

    illegal migrants and contraband and preventing asymmetric threats(The responsibilities of the

    Ministry of Land and Resources(MOLR)are mainly connected to the governmental function on protection and utilization of land(The State Oceanic Administration(SOA)is responsible for supervision and management of marine environment protectionincluding the management of

    dumping at sea(State(Environment Protection Administration(SEPA)is in charge of(inter alia

    environmental protection directly under the State Council and prevention of waters pollution from

    land base pollutant resources(Generally speakingthe Ministry of National Defense(MOND)is not a maritime law and regulations enforcement agency in peacetime(However, MOND has its

    responsibility in protection of ships navigating and fishing when they are encountered any threat

    by armed forces(In additionthe above agencies may provide search and rescue resource when they are requestedin cooperation with China Maritime Search and Rescue Center(The office of

    the center is operated and maintained by China MSA(

    2 Maritime Law and Legislation

    Shipping has the nature of high riskhigh techniqueand moveable nationwide or

    worldwidewhich should be regulated by national laws or legislations or international regulations(For those ships engaged in international tradethey are not only regulated by national

    laws or legislationsbut also by international laws or regulationsby port state legislations(There

    are different levels of laws and legislations in China concerning maritime safety administration(Apart from international laws and regulationsfor which China has accepted more

    then 40 sets of themthe highest ones are those laws adopted by the National Peoples Congress

    such as the Maritime Traffic Safety Law(1983)which is a ruling law in the maritime safety field

    the aim of the law isensuring the safety of vesselsinstallationsproperty and human fifeand

    Marine Environment Protection Law(as amended 1 999)and Harbor Management Law(The

    secondary legislations are decrees issued by the State Councilsuch as Regulations on Registration

    and on Survey for Ships and Offshore Installations(1993)Regulations on Inland Waterways

    Transportation Safety Managementetc .The third level is local law issued by provincial People

    s Congress(Since maritime issues have been defined as the central governments affairs in China

    thereforethere are not many provincial or municipal regulations concerning maritime safety and security. The fourth level is the regulations or decrees adopted by ministriesthe most regulations

    of maritime safety are defined in this level(

    In order to enforce the international conventionsnational laws and legislationsthe State

    Council and the Ministry of Communications have developed many regulations on maritime safety(Till 2003the basic framework of national maritime legislation has been formedwith some

    800 sets of lawsregulationsprovisionscodes and rules developed and adopted(

    3 The Maritime Safety Administration of the People’s Republic of China

    The Maritime Safety Administration (China MSA)is a full function governmental agency with its subsidiaries in different cities and provincesresponsible for maritime safety prevention of pollution from shipsinspection and survey of ships and offshore units(It is the major authority

    performing the governmental role of Flag StatePort State and partly, Coastal State under the UNCLOS(

3(1 Organizations

    The head office of China MSA is located in Beijing1 1 Jianguomen Nei Avenue Beijing

    100736 China(There are 3 levels of organizations under the Headquarter of China MSA(The first

    one is a bureau level located in capital cities of a coastal provinces or major port city, such as

    Shanghai MSALiaoning MSA etc(They are responsible for MSA related works in their working areas(The second is the subbranchesand the third level is the maritime stations under the subbranches(However, there is another type of MSA called Local MSAs belonging to the Transportation Department of Governments at provincial levelmainly in charge of inland

    waterways safety(

    3(2 Flag State and Port State Responsibilities of China MSA

    To perform the functions of China MSAthe main activities of the organization and its subbranches can be briefly summarized as follows

    3(2(1 Registration of ships

    Registration of ships is one of the most basic functions of China MSAand it lays the legal

    basis for the exercise of Hag State Contr01(The ships registered under Chinese flag include seagoing ships and inland water going ships(For the purpose of effective flag state controlall the

    branch offices must get authorization from the head office to conduct registration of certain types of ships(For exampleregistration of seagoing ships in international voyages is only authorized to some branch offices located along Chinese coast(In accordance with the authorization the branch offices receive applicationsprocess applications and issue certificates(

    With respect to Hag State InspectionChina MSA has established a national shipping

    inspection system(

    This system comprises two types of inspections

     (1)Routine inspection of ships certificates after its arrival or prior to its departure of a port

     (2)Ship safety inspection(FSC inspection)(

    The first type of inspection is calledShip Visasystem in Chinaevery time the Chinese flag

    ship arrives at or departs off the portsit submits all the certificates to a subbranch or a station

    of China MSA at that portthe officers of China MSA will verify the validity of them(If the

    certificates submitted are complete and valida'Port Clearancewill be issued for the shipwhich

    is also called ships Visa in China(The ship safety inspectionalso called FSC inspection

    is much more comprehensive and deeper than the first one(

    China MSA is the sole competent authority exercising Port State Control on behalf of Chinese government(Similar to flag State control systemthe port State control system also

    comprises two types of inspections(1)Routine inspection of foreign ships certificates after ship’s arrival at or prior to its departure of Chinese ports(2)Ship safety inspection(PSC

    inspection)(Every year, nearly 2000 foreign ships receive PSC inspections conducted by duly authorized PSC officers of China MSAand this figure is steadily increasing(In 2002 the number

    of foreign ships received such inspection was 2,53 1of which147 ships were detained due to

    deficiencies in equipmentmanning and so on(

    3(2(2 Ships Survey Administration

    China MSA is responsible for administrative work on ships and offshore installations survey(here after referred to as a ship survey)activitiesaccording to the functions of the Ministry

    of Communications given by the State Council in 1998(To carry out the above duties(China MSA

    has established a Department of Ship Inspection(DOSI)in its head office and established 5 regional officescalled Ship Survey Management Departments in DalianTianjinShanghai

    Wuhan and Guangdong respectively(Since the establishment of China MSAthe ship survey

    administrative work has achieved great progresses(Firstly, China MSA has developed several

    rules and regulations on the administration of ships survey(For examplethe Interim

    Administrative Rules on the Ships Survey and Certification of Chinathe Regulations on the

    Reorganization and Supervision of Ship Survey Organizations of Chinathe Regulations on

    Examination and Certification Management for Ship Surveyors and the relevant implementation measures(Secondly, with the help of above instruments and the assistance by ship survey organizationsChina MSA has carried out ship survey quality inspections(This activity has

    promoted the ship statutory surveys quality, consequently improved Chinese ships safety

    condition(Last yearas the first timethe examination of qualification of surveyors was held in Chinamajority of ship surveyors have passed examination given by China MSAand some 3,700

    surveyors passed the examinations and received certificates accordingly(

    3(3 TrainingExamination and Certifications for Seafarers and Safety Management

    There are about 400 thousands seafarers in China(7 universities1 8 maritime academies and

    technical schools provide 2 to 4 years maritime education programsand 43 various types of

    training centers provide different type of training for seafarers in China(To full and complete

    implement STCW 95using quality control systemChina MSA watches the maritime training very seriously(Those training courses are using IMO Model Course mostly(China is the first

    country that submitted government report on implementation of STCW 95 to IMO(China MSA is

    also responsible for the safety management for shipping companiesimplementation of

    International Management Code(ISM Code)as a basis(Fully implementation of the ISM Code has been approved so successfully in ChinathereforeChina MSA has expended the application of the Codein its principleto those ships operating domestically(

    3(4 Navigation Safeguarding and Marine Accidents Investigation

    China MSA is responsible to provide aids to navigation for merchant ships(Not only

    traditional type of aids to navigation is provided(With the strategy oftaking science and

    technology as the lead”,the modernization and information of aids to navigation have accelerated(In hydrographic aspectthere are three branches located in different parts of China for hydrographic surveying and charting(There are 1 3 hydrographic survey ships with advanced equipments such as singlybeam sounder, multi-beam systemand sidescan sonar(In

    publishing of chartsthe computeraided charting and full color press are used(China MSA

    product portfolio includes a coast navigational chart series300 paper charts and publications

    including List of LightsTide TableNotice to MarinersAtlas for Piloting(It also produce

    electronic charts according to the S-57 Standards of IHO (International Hydrographic Organization)(China MSA is responsible for marine traffic controldesignation and control of

    traffic-prohibited zonesnavigational channels(routes)traffic control zonesand safety operation

    zones(It is also responsible for examination and approval of safe berthing conditions and maritime

    engineering operations relating to the safety of navigationformulating the regulations of wrecks removal and other navigational obstacles(21 VTS centers provide a sound basis for controlling the marine traffic and safeguarding navigations(

    China MSA is responsible for investigating and analyzing of marine traffic and pollution

    accidents in Chinese watersas well as accidents involving ships of Chinese flagidentifying the

    causes of the accidents and making recommendations to shipping companies and government agencies for further improvement of safety(

    4 Challenge

    Great progresses have been made in maritime safety administrationhowever, maritime

    administration authority still face severe challenge to make further improvement in safety and

    reduce of accidents(

    4(1 Poor conditions of vessels

    The general technical conditions of vessels are still in a low condition(Among those

    engaging in domestic trademany are old age shipssecond hand ships and sub-standard

    ships(According to statisticsfrom early2002 to May 2003the imported second hand vessels

    amounted to 267 among which 143 are bulk carriersoccupying 53(56of the total number(In

    these 143 ships117 are over age 16 to 18 yearsaccounting8 1(82!(And this figure is keeping

    increasing which is a hidden risk in maritime administration(Additionally, there are a great

number of old age ships and substandard ships operating in inland waterswhich need both

    economicand policy support at local and central levels(

    4(2 The gap between navigation environment and the shipping industry

    The built bridges and dams prevent the smooth navigation of shipsholding up channels and

    hampering navigation(Collision and grounding accidents often happen due to the change of navigation environment(

    4(3 The quality of shipping companies and seafarers

    The improvement of management of shipping companies and qualification of seafarers are not compatible with the rapid development of technology(Moreover, the steep rise in the number

    of shipping companies and seafarers also bring difficulty in their administration(

    4(4 The limited authorization of maritime authority and ships survey agencies

    The number of maritime officers around China is less than half number of policemen in Beijing(The ship surveyors can normally board a ship for inspection only once a year with the application from the ship seaworthy condition depends upon the maintenance by seafarers(

    4(5 The imbalance between the high expectation of safety from public and the inadequate financial support to the maritime and shipping industries poses a great pressure on to the administration

    4(6 Maritime security is quite a popular topic nowadays and there have been many discussions recently

     Some enhanced security measures have been adopted(Basically, to the administration

    this means more rules to be developedmore areas of control to be conductedand more personals

    to be employed(In one wordmaritime security is a new challenge faces to maritime


    5 Conclusion

    China is one of the largest shipping countries in the world and has been playing active and important role in world maritime society(Since Chinas reform and openingup policy adopted

    both of international and domestic shipping industries have achieved a significant development(Following the growth of merchant fleetmaritime accidents have been increased in

    numbers consequently(Through the efforts made by MOC and China MSA in particularly, the maritime safety has been improved significantly(This achievement made mainly by following

    factsstrong support from the governments from different level(incorporation of the quality

    management in to the system managementthe development of maritime safety cultureetc(

    The improvement of Maritime Safety Administration is never ended(China MSA will

    undertake seriously study of further improvement of maritime safety and use pro-active way to response all the challenges to achieve better performance in Safer Shipping and Cleaner Ocean and effectiveness of shipping(The most important measures are to formulate very strong partnership among the maritime sectors and to establish a risk management schemeand not to

    simply remove the risks from one system to another(

     (The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily represent that of the Organization()

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